Sen. Shilling: Senate GOP refuse to close the “Dark Store” loophole

Contact: Kate Constalie, kate.constalie@legis.wi.gov, 608-266-5490

Homeowners to face higher property taxes under Republican control

MADISON, WI – Senate Republicans blocked action to close the “Dark Store” loophole that allows large corporate retailers to shift their property tax liability onto homeowners and small businesses. All across Wisconsin, large corporate retailers have challenged their property taxes by arguing that the value of their new property is the same as an abandoned, or “dark” property, in a different location. Democrats have advocated for closing this loophole and preventing corporations from using vacant, abandoned or dark properties as a comparison for determining the value of a fully operational and occupied building.

“It is baffling that Republicans are refusing to take action to restore tax fairness for homeowners and small businesses,” said Shilling. “To add insult to injury, they blocked their own bill that has overwhelming public and bipartisan support. This issue is impacting municipalities of all sizes across the state and it’s one of the reasons we saw a jump in property taxes last year. Rather than more tax breaks for the wealthy and large corporations, Gov. Evers and Legislative Democrats have made it clear we want to close corporate tax loopholes, restore tax fairness and promote economic opportunities for working families.”

A similar provision to close the “Dark Store” loophole was included in Governor Evers 2019-21 State Budget but was also blocked by Joint Finance Committee Republicans.

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